Whiskey Review: Three Chord Cask-Finished Bourbon & Corn Whiskey - ForWhiskeyLovers.com

Whiskey Review: Three Chord Cask-Finished Bourbon & Corn Whiskey

Editor’s Note: This whiskey was provided to us as a review sample by the party behind it. This in no way, per our editorial policies, influenced the final outcome of this review. 

You may not have heard of Neil Giraldo, but you have probably heard him. He’s a guitarist and producer who has worked since the 70s. He’s been a guitarist and producer for Kenny Loggins, the Corrs, and his wife Pat Benatar, among others. Just think of that wonderfully catchy opening riff from Rick Springfield’s “Jessie’s Girl”–that’s Neil Giraldo.

Giraldo is also the name behind the Three Chord bourbon label. The name is a reference to the 1, 4, 5 chord progression, the foundation of blues guitar. In this case, it could also refer to the three barrels blended to create this expression. The blend incorporates 28% from an MGP 6-year bourbon, 40% from an MGP 5 year-bourbon, and 32% from a Kentucky 8-year corn whiskey. The blend aged for 3 months in toasted barrels, and then aged for an additional month in honey barrels from Fern Valley Farms in Arkansas.

There’s nothing unusual about mixing MGP barrels to create a whiskey brand. Of course, there’s also nothing unusual about a 1, 4, 5 chord progression. Still, there’s almost infinite variety in the small adjustments of tone and performance that you can put into music that fits that progression. Similarly, it only takes a small adjustment in aging or barreling to turn a basic whiskey into something unique.

There’s something appealingly ironic about this expression, at least if you enjoy irony as much as I do. In his musical career, Neil Giraldo is a technical master who has supported big names from the background. Here, he’s the big name being supported by experienced craftsmen from the whiskey industry. It’s the combination that made for some definitive pop hits, and it’s exciting to think about what it can bring to the field of popular whiskey.

You have my attention, Neil Giraldo, so hit me with your best shot. I’m sorry.

Three Chord Cask-Finished Bourbon & Corn Whiskey review

We review Three Chord Cask-Finished Bourbon & Corn Whiskey, drawn from three whiskeys and finished in two types of barrels. (image via Taylor Shiells/The Whiskey Wash)

Tasting Notes: Three Chord Cask-Finished Bourbon & Corn Whiskey

Vital Stats: 55.65% ABV. Mash bill: Undisclosed. 111.3 Proof. MSRP 39.99 USD.

Appearance: Golden honey.

Nose: The honeyed finish translates into an initial note of highly pollinated air. As I go deeper into the scent, the honey combines with the woody finish to create a smell of sweetened black tea. The nose, as a whole, is flavored by the thickness of alcohol, reflecting the high proof of the whiskey.

Palate: For a whiskey over 110 proof, there’s only a moderate burn that doesn’t compete with the silky mouth feel. The honey is a forward note, but I find it blending into the stronger woody, nutty feel that defines the body of the whiskey. The honey sweetness and nutty feel give an overall impression of a peanut butter cookie. It ends with a finish that’s reminiscent of a coffee that’s been sweetened with a bit too much honey.

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